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Le Corbusier Buildings Given UNESCO World Heritage Status

According to the UNESCO website, seventeen sites designed by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for “Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement,” after two previous proposals to add the sites to the list were declined in 2009 and 2011. The seventeen sites, situated across seven countries, include his Marseille housing project La Cite Radieuse, La Villa Savoye near Paris, and The Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in northern India. The World Heritage Committee added these to their list yesterday morning at their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, where proceedings as to which sites to include were interrupted by the country’s recent military coup. The committee originally convened on July 10, with Kadir Topbaş, the mayor of Istanbul, and Öcal Oğuz, president of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO.

A statement from UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova noted that World Heritage accreditation speaks to “the idea that people of all cultures and faith can unite around outstanding universal value . . . When a World Heritage site is destroyed anywhere in the world, we all suffer, we are all diminished, even if it is from another region, another period, another culture . . . What is at stake here is more than adding new sites on a list. It is about reaffirming human values and human rights. It is about healing wounded memories, harnessing heritage to regain confidence, to recover and look into the future.”

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